Monday, September 12, 2005

Glacial Impact

"Nature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eyes, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence."
-Alfred Billings Street (American poet, 1811-1881)


Today we spent 8 hours on a tour of the icy waters in the Gulf of Alaska. We toured Kenai Fjords National Park and viewed an active tidewater glacier and several active sea creatures. This first picture is of the big fish I caught (Eddie), hanging on a hook in Seward, Alaska.
We viewed the Holgate Glacier, part of the 700 square mile Harding Icefield, which covered the Kenai Peninsula and Cook Inlet 17,000 to 25,000 years ago. The Harding Icefield is the largest icefield located within the United States and estimates suggest that the icefield receives about 400 to 600 inches of snow a year.
The face of this glacier is 400 to 600 feet high. These are the tips of the glacier and as you can see, it's blue, just like most of the glacier. It has something to do with the density of the ice and the color that reflects off of it. Whatever - it was just cool! As we were winding down the glacier viewing, one of the crew members fished a big floating chunk of glacier ice out of the water and promptly made "Glacier Margaritas" with it. Man, that was some good ice! This is one of the two Dall's Porpoises that we saw. They swam alongside the bow of the boat, jumping in and out of the water, showing off to us how fast they are. Here is a little Sea Otter. They do most everything floating on their back (ahhhh, my kind of animal), from eating to feeding their young. It was hard to get close to him but you can tell they are cute from far away! Ed said I was cuter than the Sea Otter. Isnt' that sweet??One of the best sights today was the Stellar Sea Lion. Another mammal after my own heart....lives in cold weather, swims when they feel like it, lays around on rocks all day and gets to play with their friends. What a life.



We also saw a humpback whale, Puffins (birds), a bald eagle and a mountain goat. They were too far away to get a good picture, but clear enough for us to get a good look.
During the cruise, we also dined on Prime Rib and Alaskan Salmon...plus a dessert bar and tasty drinks. Did you really think we'd spend eight hours on the water with no food??

Shame on you.

Tomorrow is another day...

4 comments:

He's Dead, Jim! said...

Hey! Great to see you are back in internet-land! Wonderful photos. Those places look unbelievable. Can't wait to see more.
Best,
~Claudette

kontrabanda said...

THIS IS AMAZING!!!!!!! LOVE, absolutely LOVE your pictures and captions!

Thank you for visiting :)

Lee said...

Oh my gosh, these pictures are incredible. Everytime I read your blog I consider a change of occupation. ;) My brother has been a truck driver for years (covering much of Western Europe from the Med up to Scandinavia) and I'm thinking it's about time he got a blog!

Horace Saelee said...

Mmm... so what?